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City and County of San Francisco
Public Hearings 
 

July 26, 2007

July 26, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO

PLANNING COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes

Commission Chambers - Room 400

City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place

Thursday, July 26, 2007

1:30 PM

Regular Meeting

COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

COMMISSIONER ABSENT: Alexander

THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY VICE-PRESIDENT OLAGUE AT 1:38 P.M.

STAFF IN ATTENDANCE: Dean Macris – Director of Planning, Larry Badiner – Zoning Administrator, Amit Ghosh – Chief Planner, Michael Li, Tara Sullivan-Lenane, Craig Nikitas,

Glenn Cabreros, Linda Avery – Commission Secretary.

  • CONSIDERATION OF ITEMS PROPOSED FOR CONTINUANCE

The Commission will consider a request for continuance to a later date. The Commission may choose to continue the item to the date proposed below, to continue the item to another date, or to hear the item on this calendar.

1a. 2007.0388CV (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

2574 San Bruno Avenue - west side, between Felton and Burrows Streets, Lot 011 in Assessor's Block 5981 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization for use size under Planning Code Sections 711.21 and 121.2 to demolish the existing community recreation center,  Boys Club, and construct a two-story over basement community health center, operated by the North East Medical Services, within a NC-2 (Small-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) Zoning District and a 40-X Height and Bulk Designation. The project also includes a Variance request for an exception to off-street parking requirements pursuant to Planning Code Section 151.

Preliminary Recommendation: approval with conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 21, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to August 9, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

1b. 2007.0388CV (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

2574 San Bruno Avenue - west side, between Felton and Burrows Streets, Lot 011 in Assessor's Block 5981 - Variance Request for off-street parking pursuant to Planning Code Section 151 for the proposed two-story over basement community health center, operated by the North East Medical Services, within a NC-2 (Small-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) Zoning District and a 40-X Height and Bulk Designation.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 21, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to August 9, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

2. 2007.0668C (M. Li: (415) 558-6396)

627 Vallejo Street - southwest corner at Columbus Avenue, Lots 017 through 021 in Assessor's Block 0146 - Request for Conditional Use Authorization to establish a small-service restaurant of approximately 950 square feet within a retail grocery store (dba "Piazza Market"). The restaurant use will operate as an integrated component of the retail grocery store. It will not be under separate ownership. There will be no physical expansion of the existing building. The project site is within the North Beach Neighborhood Commercial District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

(Proposed for Continuance to August 30, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

3. (L. AVERY: (415) 558-6407)

COMMISSION'S RULES AND REGULATIONS - Discussion and possible action to amend the Commission's Rules and Regulations to address imposing time constraints on submittal of documents and material for review by the Commission and the public; discuss and possibly establish rules or policies that address other areas of interest of the Commission.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 14, 2007)

(Proposed for Continuance to August 30, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Continued as proposed

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

4. 2005.1059DV (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

2986 - 22ND STREET - north side, between Folsom Street and Treat Avenue; Lot 018B in Assessor's Block 3613 Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.07.14.7539 proposing vertical and horizontal additions to an existing single-family dwelling in a RH-3 (Residential, Three-Family House) District with a 40-X Height and Bulk Designation. The proposal would also add two dwelling units and an underground parking garage.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and Approve Project with Modifications.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of May 17, 2007)

DISCRETIONARY REVIEW APPLICATION WITHDRAWN

B. COMMISSIONERS' QUESTIONS AND MATTERS

Adoption of Commission Minutes– Charter Section 4.104 requires all commissioners to vote yes or no on all matters unless that commissioner is excused by a vote of the Commission. Commissioners may not be automatically excluded from a vote on the minutes because they did not attend the meeting.

5. Consideration of Adoption:

  • Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of September 7, 2006.
  • Draft Minutes of Regular Meeting of December 7, 2006.
  • Draft Minutes of Special Meeting of July 12, 2007.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

6. Commission Comments/Questions

  • Inquiries/Announcements. Without discussion, at this time Commissioners may make announcements or inquiries of staff regarding various matters of interest to the Commissioner(s).
  • Future Meetings/Agendas. At this time, the Commission may discuss and take action to set the date of a Special Meeting and/or determine those items that could be placed on the agenda of the next meeting and other future meetings of the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. I would like to direct some questions to staff in regards to some correspondence about upper Market community workshops series on design.
  2. I am asking about this procedure as a duck-tail into the Market-Octavia situation.
  3. I had some calls from various people that are involved in the process and they want to know exactly how this fits together.
  4. From what I understand, there is going to be a series of workshops to deal with designs and retail uses along that area that would include part of the Market-Octavia plan that was approved recently.
  5. The questions that arise are relative to individual projects. Can we proceed with projects that might fall/conform within the parameters of Market-Octavia or does that have to wait for the completion of the study?
  6. Was this done in conjunction with the entire Market-Octavia process? I realized that some of the studies involve areas that are beyond Market-Octavia.
  7. Thirdly, in regard to any project that may come forward, will the Commission be briefed as to what is going on with this process?
  8. My assumption would have been that once it was approved then we would begin seeing individual projects much as with the case in Rincon Hill on the scope of what is involved here as far as the economic studies and what these meetings are really entailing.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

  1. We will start by giving you an informational memorandum and once you come back in September we can decide mutually when the briefing would be appropriate.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. That will be fine. I think there are come concerns as to timing of individual projects and the sooner that we can give some answer to that the better.
  2. If we have to schedule a hearing that would be great or get a memorandum quickly.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- We can have an actual discussion in September but we will get you something before you go on Hiatus.

Commissioner Moore

- I want to expand our discussion on the Level of Service of two weeks ago. This morning there was a very interesting article in the New York Times, I Love Paris on the Bus or Bike or Train - In Anything but a Car.

- Since we are basically inspired to be a world tourist destination, probably similar to Paris, I suggest that we all read this article.

- It speaks really strongly about the idea of constraining a car and creating traffic conflict until the car use is diminished. The Mayor of Paris is actively pursuing it.

- I have copied this article to the Mayor's Office who is interested in innovative thinking. I made copies for everybody else to read including staff.

- My second request is that we schedule a special meeting on reviewing CEQA. I brought this up a number of months ago. I do not see it on our Action List and would like to add it.

- There are a number of issues that I would like to get updated and informed on.

- How we deal with alternative analysis; contracting practices for EIR consultants; monitoring; required mitigations; and the list goes on. And not to speak on the latest interpretation by the State on how the State of California is looking at CEQA and leverages given to local jurisdictions to deal with particular issues such as socio economic analysis, etc.

- I would like to schedule this meeting as early as possible in late August or early September. I would like to get Commission support on that to be put on the Action List to schedule it.

Commissioner Olague

  1. I am also interested in such a hearing. I think it just given the fact that Mr. Maultzer retired from his position at MEA is a concern.
  2. We need to be reviewing the methods that are applied currently -- the bicycle plan, the housing element, and the number of appeals that take place at the Board.
  3. I would like to have a better understanding of how projects are reviewed, etc. Especially the socio-economic piece. That is the one that I would be interested in hearing more about.

Commissioner Antonini

  1. I am not opposed to that but it is very broad subject. I think that my main interest would be to see how our CEQA process ducktails with State law and where the jurisdictional lines are drawn.
  2. And, whether or not some of the things that we consider as under the jurisdiction of CEQA are in conformity with what the State believes. I think that would be interesting to find out.

Commissioner W. Lee

  1. I agree that we should talk about CEQA in light of the two documents that were provided last week about the interim procedures for the review within the plan area of The Transbay.
  2. You talk about CEQA and guidelines there and how we are going to look at the cumulative affects of all the high rises and also the issues regarding historical preservation.
  3. Also, when we talk about CEQA, parking is going to be an issue. The MUNI and the Mayor's Office have disagreements.
  4. Regarding this article about Paris, I do not disagree that transit is first, but the issue with all other global cities is they have a great underground subway system that we do not have in San Francisco. We do not connect the West side with the East side of the City.
  5. I also think that it is time to discuss some of the CEQA issues.

Commissioner S. Lee

  1. On CEQA, it sounds like we need to clear an entire hearing day for it. I think it is actually quite an extensive topic. I do not see us having a briefing and then have a lengthy discussion.
  2. The other thing, it is all good to talk about higher levels of CEQA, but we also need to have information about what is actually going on in the trenches of CEQA - how CEQA requirements affect projects big and small.
  3. My bias is that I do not believe that our Department should be filled with people who are editors.
  4. We need to get CEQA documents out. I think the issues about projects - that discussion should take place on the project level and not on some theoretical CEQA environmental issues.
  5. We really need to have a discussion and understand what the CEQA process is from beginning to end.

Commissioner Moore

- I have talked to even have outside experts to really speak about the art of CEQA.

- I am much respected of all the experience within the department but a fresh look advice will help us understand the difficulties of what the department but also independently of where we are at with the State of California.

The Commission decided to schedule a special meeting on CEQA procedures on a Wednesday afternoon (if possible), at or after 4:00p.m.

Commissioner Sugaya

- A number of meetings ago, I asked staff for some information on the status of various projects that were listed in the San Francisco's Business Times.

- I do not know if you got hold of it but I have it here in case you need it.

Commissioner Olague

- I want to see the Institutional Master Plan for the Academy of Art College. I want to understand their process.

- I know it requires a lot of sites and I think the current site is the Lorraine Hansberry Theater. I am just curious about their practices; I do no think we have ever heard about them here.

- I believe that the Institutional Master Plan is required every two years.

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- We have tried to get responses. The way to start on that would be to get a memorandum to the Commission informing you where they are and what they have been trying to do.

- I do not think we are ready for an Institutional Master Plan, but we have been trying to get them and we have a strategy.

- It is only recently that they finally got the message and hired someone to help them. We have consistently been sending them letters in an attempt to get some compliance. I think they finally got someone on board within the last two months.

- We have been working diligently. I am glad you raised it. It is a complicated issue.

Commissioner Olague

- I requested a few weeks ago a list of projects in the Eastern Neighborhoods.

- I was wondering how and what criteria the department was using to recommend approval or disapproval of projects particularly in the Mission and in the Eastern Neighborhoods?

- Projects where the interim controls were applied? How the department applied the policies and what criteria was used? Which projects were approved and which ones were recommended for disapproval?

- Whether or not we actually recommended any changes to projects based on the policy or if the policies were just not really applied to projects?

- Finally, I have been talking and receiving emails from artists who live in areas that are currently zoned for industrial use in the Eastern Neighborhoods.

- This may mean we have a joint hearing with the Art Task Force or I may have to talk to somebody from that camp.

- I do not know if this is wide spread or just isolated incidents.

- As we see the change in zoning for some of these sites from industrial to potential residential and mixed use, I am hearing about people who resided in these spaces who are now suddenly facing eviction after living there for over ten years.

- I heard about it on two addresses already. I am just wondering if there is anything that we could do from the planning stand point.

- Are these sorts of things being tracked or not? I think it is commonly known that artists live in these spaces, and after paying rent for many years, now suddenly they are receiving their checks back and being told they have been illegally residing there.

- Finally; as far as the live/work loss, are they considered residential or not?

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

- They are considered non-conforming uses. It would have to be determined whether the uses were permitted at the time they were approved and maybe if they can continue on or be added to. These are unlike most non-conforming uses where the expectation is that they were going to fade away over a time period.

- If it was approved in 1995 and in that district they were permitted. They can change to that use.

Commissioner Sugaya

- If the staff needs some Commission help, we can always schedule a hearing on the Academy of Arts University Master Plan.

Commissioner Antonini

- I just wanted to ask staff. Some weeks ago I had requested a report on specifics comparing and contrasting Westbrook Plaza affordable housing on 7th Street that came before us. There has been no discussion on impacts of those 49 units with 49 parking spaces.

- Why was this not scrutinized where market-rate housing with as small as 9 units were being scrutinized on the impacts to traffic, socio economics, etc?

- I just want to remind staff that I wanted to hear that sometime in the future.

C. DIRECTOR'S REPORT

7. Director's Announcements

None

8. Review of Past Week's Events at the Board of Supervisors and Board of Appeals

Mr. Badiner, Zoning Administrator

Government Audit and Oversight Committee

- Parking Hearing on the relationship between parking, neighborhood business and families requested by Supervisor Alioto-Pier.

The Transit Authority discussed the amount of parking available to customers and employees of small business; the impacts of parking; availability to neighborhood business; and the impact of parking availability on families.

The Planning Department discussed the feasibility of creating the one-to-one parking ratio city wide for families.

The MTA specifically discussed neighborhood parking garage regulations regarding uses of garages; parking revenues and expenditures over the pass six years or so; and the number of garages built.

The hearing lasted about three hours. It was a non-action item and it was continued because the Supervisor asked for further information.

Board of Supervisors

  1. Salary Ordinance for the City – This is one of the final budget pieces for the City. Passed
  2. Residential Inclusionary Affordable Housing Requirement by Supervisor Sandoval. Passed. This would establish minimum qualifications for [developers] of below market rate units.
  3. Appeal of Categorical Exemption for 3424 Jackson Street – A single family house in the Presidio.
  4. The Cat. Ex. Appeal for the City Wide Wireless was continued to July 31, 2007
  5. Medical Cannabis Dispensary extension – Your recommendations from the July 12th hearing were incorporated into the ordinance that is being heard today.
  6. Introductions:
    1. Fringe Financial Code Changes – That is the term used for payday checkbooks: Extended our time for another 30-day. Supervisors are making further changes and want to give us time to respond to that.

Board of Appeals

None

D. GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT – 15 MINUTES

At this time, members of the public may address the Commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission except agenda items. With respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the Commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

SPEAKERS: None

E. PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS WHERE THE PUBLIC HEARING HAS BEEN CLOSED

At this time, members of the public who wish to address the Commission on agenda items that have already been reviewed in a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the public hearing has been closed, must do so at this time. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

Terry Perera

- I have reviewed the proposed project.

- I and other seniors engineers at W.J.E have been involved in many peer reviews including the seismic micro retrofit of the PG&E Market Street complex, City Hall of Oakland, San Jose Arena, City Hall of San Francisco and recently for 180 Howard Street.

- The reviews for those projects were highly technical, lengthy and involved the continuous participation of DBI personnel throughout the process. Every meeting convened for the purpose of discussing the project.

- The peer review for 120 Howard Street however, has apparently been completed and the letter sent by the peer panel to DBI reports that the review process consisted of a site visit, meetings with MUA and a final meeting with SFDBI staff.

- DBI had little to do with the peer review for this proposed addition. The statement is consistent with all DBI representations to us since March that the peer review has not yet started.

- Representations made at the very same time that we were told by the project sponsor that the peer review was nearly complete.

- It is also consistent with Jim Miller's statement to us made nearly one week prior to the June 28 meeting of this Commission when it was first announced that the peer reviewed was completed, Hanson Tom had told him that it had not yet started.

- One more relevant fact, during the BIC meeting they stated that Raymond Louie was leading the 120 peer review. Mr. Louie has told W.J.E. that he does not know much about the problem and he has not been involved in it.

- The peer review letter is inadequate. The report does not respond directly to any of W.J.E. stated primary concerns and they report a silence on other concerns.

- We were excluded entirely from the process even after we were reassured by DBI that we would participate.

- The letter indicates that the peer review panel did identify a few instances of non-compliance of the engineer record for the vertical addition.

- The letter suggest that the peer review panel never saw the evidence of the other major earthquake safety issues that W.J.E. has found in the structural and architectural drawings.

- We have in the interim been in contact with the director of DBI. We made telephone calls and emails to try to get a hold of the final peer review report. None of our inquiries have been answered.

Mike Ward

- I am facility manager of Catholic Charities and our administrative office is at 180 Howard and we have three or four different programs and 40-45 people that come to the office.

- We are planning to have three or four programs moved to this location.

- I just wanted you to be aware that we are next door and how this would affect us in terms of safety and health of our staff, clients and the community if this building is ever taken down.

Alice Barkley

- I submitted a letter to this Commission requesting continuance of this item until after the Building Inspection hearing to discuss safety concerns. It is already scheduled.

- Normally this Commission and your Department take the position that seismic safety is not the concern of this Department. We are asking to test for toxic conditions to ensure the safety of the occupants.

- The peer review process is very unusual and was delayed. The process has been strictly between project sponsor, engineer and the peer review panel. There was no independent review.

Andrew Junius, Project Sponsor Representative

- This project was continued to today for the purpose of getting a couple more pieces of information: completion of peer review and allowing DBI to confirm they received that review.

- Both of those things you have in your packets.

- I want to direct you specifically to exhibit A to my letter to you where Director Hasenin specifically says in the second paragraph that this project should be allowed to proceed without further delays.

- The BAR Association and their attorney are simply looking for more ways to slow us down.

- Last week, they appeared at the Building Inspection Commission without telling us. They appeared at public comment and we were not given any notice and had no opportunity to appear on our behalf.

- Now, they are misrepresenting what the BIC said as if it were nothing. There was nothing on calendar. They simply directed staff to report back on this project in a couple of weeks.

- There is no rule that allows the peer review process to be open and include public participation.

- The engineers that we had look at this project and sign off on the structural system are at the top of their field.

Michael

- We have evaluated the existing structure's seismic performance using the most updated analysis methodology currently available.

- This type of analysis in design is the most accurate methodology and the result of the building performance is far superior than the one analyzed in design on conventional techniques.

- We found the building exceeds the seismic performance requirement for new buildings and requirement of seismic retrofit work.

- We evaluated the building based on an earthquake that happens on average every 2500 years and found that still has a significant margin against collapse.

- The peer review validated our results and our analysis is complete. They are in complete agreement that the proposed structural design exceeds the seismic performance required for new buildings.

- DBI also confirmed the peer review findings.

- The peer review process fully considered W.J.E. comments and incorporated them into the official peer review. We responded to each comment.

- W.J.E. comments were faulty for a number of reasons: They are based on a very rudimentary set of hand calculations and the calculations are based on the assumption that when the building displaces in an earthquake the bricks around the premises would push in on the concrete frame.

Pat Buscavich

- I am not retained by anybody on this. I am here because I wrote the section of the code that now is being applied.

- I have the best interest to make sure that this continues to be used. I am very concern that the integrity of the peer review and the alternate ladder procedure in chapter 16 are followed.

- I am going to follow up with the Building Department and make sure that they do follow the rules correctly.

- This is not the place for this discussion but at the Building Inspection Commission and I will be there to make sure that what I put in is followed correctly.

  1. CONSIDERATION OF FINDINGS AND FINAL ACTION – PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED

9a. 2006.0616BEKX (Tape IA; IB) (J. MILLER: (415) 558-6344)

120 HOWARD STREET - northwest corner at Spear Street, Lot 019 in Assessor's Block 3717 - Request for review by the Planning Commission under Planning Code Section 309 of a four-story addition to an existing eight-story building (with a partial ninth floor) requiring exceptions to Planning Code standards for freight loading and building bulk, in C-3-O (Downtown Office) and C-3-O (SD) (Downtown Office - Special Development) Districts and a 200-S Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 28, 2007)

NOTE: On June 28, 2007, following public testimony the Commission entertained a motion to approve with amendments by a vote of +2 -3 the motion failed. Commissioners Alexander, Moore and Olague voted no. Commissioners S. Lee & W. Lee were absent The Commission continued the item to 7/26/0707 (+4 –1) Commissioner Moore voted against and Commissioners S. Lee & W. Lee were absent – PH remains closed

ACTION: Approved with conditions as drafted

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee and Sugaya

NAYES: Moore

ABSENT: Alexander

MOTION: 17465

9b. 2006.0616BEKX (J. MILLER: (415) 558-6344)

120 HOWARD STREET - northwest corner at Spear Street, Lot 019 in Assessor's Block 3717 - Request for allocation of office space by the Planning Commission under Planning Code Section 321 in conjunction with a four-story addition to an existing eight-story building (with a partial ninth floor). This project requires the allocation of approximately 67,310 square feet of office space. The site is in C-3-O (Downtown Office) and C-3-O (SD) (Downtown Office – Special Development) Districts and a 200-S Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Approval with Conditions

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 28, 2007)

NOTE: On June 28, 2007, following public testimony the Commission entertained a motion to approve with amendments by a vote of +2 -3 the motion failed. Commissioners Alexander, Moore and Olague voted no. Commissioners S. Lee & W. Lee were absent The Commission continued the item to 7/26/0707 (+4 –1) Moore voted against and S. Lee & W. Lee were absent – PH remains closed

ACTION: Approved with conditions as drafted

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee and Sugaya

NAYES: Moore

ABSENT: Alexander

MOTION: 17466

G. CONSENT CALENDAR

All matters listed hereunder constitute a Consent Calendar, are considered to be routine by the Planning Commission, and will be acted upon by a single roll call vote of the Commission. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a member of the Commission, the public, or staff so requests, in which event the matter shall be removed from the Consent Calendar and considered as a separate item at this or a future hearing.

Items 10 and 11 were taken off the Consent Calendar

10. 2007.0312D (Tape IB) (M. LI: (415) 558-6396)

1884 Market Street - north side between Laguna and Octavia Streets, Lot 006 in Assessor's Block 0871 - Mandatory Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2007 0320 6707 to maintain operation of an existing medical cannabis dispensary (dba  Market Street Cooperative ) of approximately 2,400 square feet. The property is within an NC-3 (Moderate-Scale Neighborhood Commercial) District and an 80-A Height and Bulk District. There will be no physical expansion of the existing building or commercial space.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take discretionary review and approve the project as proposed

SPEAKERS

Tes Windo, Co-Owner

- I have been working with the dispensary since we opened. It has been nine years.

- I am unaware of any problems or concerns. We've never had one problem in the neighborhood.

- Every other business owner signed a letter of support for us. The people that visit our dispensary were willing to sign letters but we decided to have them only from neighbors.

- We have never had the police at our doors. We have a very wide corner with three big windows and we police the corners.

- I am shocked that someone is opposing. We did not even tell people to come to support us.

Aaron Holmberg, Resident of 1878 Market Street

- I am directly next door and my only window is on an airway. My objection is the fumes.

- They do not smoke there but there are a lot of products and the smell is obnoxious.

- The fume comes through the airway and fills out my room.

Fadda

- I live in Emeryville and am an actor.

- As a patient, this is the only club where I can go in with $3 and come out with a bag of pot.

- Before this club opened up, I used to spend $300 or $400 per day for my medicine.

- This club has given me real health information to keep HIV out of my life and body.

Shawna

- I am in favor of this club for serving the community compassionately and responsibly.

- I am concerned that the gentleman did not address this issue before where it could have been reasonably responded to.

- Urged the Commission to measure his statement with [the understanding that it could have been] mediated before hand.

Tara

- They are the  gold standard and I hope you approve this project.

Sheipherd

- If there are patients who have cancer and aids who want to smoke a little pot, the State of California has made that legal.

- If somebody has an issue with the smell, it should be addressed with them personally.

- There are a lot of other issues with smell around the City.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and Approved

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

11. 2007.0588D (Tape IB) (M. LI: (415) 558-6396)

669 O'Farrell Street - south side between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, Lot 011 in Assessor's Block 0322 - Mandatory Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2007 0323 7503 to maintain operation of an existing medical cannabis dispensary (dba  Sanctuary ) of approximately 270 square feet. The property is within an RC-4 (Residential-Commercial Combined, High Density) District, the North of Market Residential Special Use District, and an 80-T Height and Bulk District. There will be no physical expansion of the existing building or commercial space.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do not take discretionary review and approve the project as proposed

SPEAKERS

Michael Welch

- I opened Sanctuary two and one half years ago after my doctor prescribed medical cannabis for me.

- Ever since we opened, we have had a very large compassion program.

- I did not know about any opposition. We have over 150 letters of support. We play by the rules.

- I am just trying to help other people and I do not even make any money.

ACTION: Did not take Discretionary Review and Approved.

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

  1. REGULAR CALENDAR

Item 12 was taken our of order and followed item13

12. (Tape IB; IIA) (A. LIGHT/C. NIKITAS: (415) 558-6254/(415) 558-6306)

OFFICE DEVELOPMENT ANNUAL LIMIT - Informational presentation on the status of the office allocation square footage, and a review of entitled projects that have exceeded their statutory eighteen-month approval period, and a discussion of amendments to previous Commission Resolutions that would establish criteria for the disposition of these entitlements. Such amendments could be adopted at a future hearing.

SPEAKERS

Sue Hestor

- This was put on a ballot by the voters. It was started by the Planning Department as a three year trial period with the full intention that it be a temporary limit.

- A lot of the terms that Mr. Nikitas spoke about were drafted by the public.

- I find it strange to listen to staff saying basically that we have taken away the power of a Commission that acted seven or eight years ago.

- The Planning Commission resolution can be repealed by another Planning Commission and I am asking you to do it.

- We have a situation where we can have a project that gets activated after nine years on the solo say of the Zoning Administrator without giving public notice to any body.

- I have not heard the words environmental review cross people's lips in the context of what you do when something is this old.

- I have not seen any of these decisions, 524 Howard in particular, rules on their environmental review. I have not received a copy of the Zoning Administrator's Determination that I requested.

- You can not keep projects alive indefinitely on an environmental review that was originally done 25 years ago.

- The Commission has to take the power back. The public deserves it.

Jeffrey Heller

- It is interesting to talk to you from the perspective of being deeply involved in this for twenty five or more years.

- We have worked on a number of projects and to list some: 250 Montgomery, 55 Second, 555 Mission that is under construction, and most projects on Rincon Hill. All those projects started construction many years after their approval.

- There is a fundamental economic truth here and that is the long arduous process of getting approval puts you in a place where you may not be in the right economic arena to be able to commence.

- Ms. Hestor mentioned 524 Howard, which was re-approved by the Commission not so long ago. It is an office building and an entirely proper use for that area.

- I brought a chart to show how long it takes from the moment that you, as the Commission, approve the project, to the date that we can put a shovel in the ground (assuming that the sponsor does not risk the money to do the work in advance of the approval).

- It takes almost eighteen months. If you push hard and everything goes right, by the end of the eighteen months you can actually start construction.

- It is not realistic that the Commission should impose that is the only way that a building can get built in the City.

Jim Reuben

- I am speaking on the item generically. We have a number of the buildings that are on your list that are also clients of ours.

- The economic cycles in San Francisco have been deep and short.

- There is not enough time in a single economic cycle to acquire a piece of property and go through a very difficult, arduous risky process and get that building built.

- The only building that I am aware that has done it in a single economic cycle is 560 Mission Street.

- We also prepared a chart to show you all the large projects--including photographs and locations--showing the date of the entitlement and date the construction started, if they in fact have started construction.

- The average period of time between the grant of entitlement and the commencement of construction is 46 months. That is what it takes to go through this process. One of our projects took 64 months.

Deborah Stein

- I am troubled by Ms. Hestor's confusion about the exercise of and the possession of power on land use.

- You possess the power to revoke any 321 or any permit that is not fully fulfilled.

- The report before you today on the status and staff processing these permits is not a disempowerment of this Commission.

- This Commission retains all of its authority and judgment. That makes a difference in selective bodies in the City.

- In this cases, and in all cases the Commission continues to look thoughtfully when to exercise its power.

Robert Herr, 350 Bush and 500 Pine projects

- Those projects are joined at the hip. They are basically companions.

- It took four years to achieve the entitlement of those two combined projects.

- These projects provide benefits to the community.

- I have been working diligently for three and a half years since the entitlement became final with the approval of the Board of Supervisors to move forward with that project.

- They have started the rehabilitation of the landmark building by removing a non –historic shade at the rear of the building and have contributed over $400,000 as a commitment to affordable housing opportunities in the community.

TayVia, Copeland

- I am representing the project sponsor of the 1st and Howard project. I want to reiterate two things that Mr. Nikitas highlighted.

- First, this project is part of that four corner development and this is the last building in that phase that was not able to go forward due to the economic down turn.

- In 2005 when the market start to look like it might come back, the project sponsor did do plans and applied for a building permit.

- We have been in the building permit process for nine months. We therefore believe the project sponsor has been proceeding diligently and at this point is in the hands of the city.

ACTION: Informational only. No action by the Commission. However, the Chair (Vice President Christina Olague) instructed staff to schedule status reports on 3433 3rd St, 500 Pine St, 801 Market St, & 350 Bush St. Staff is also to schedule a hearing to review the Resolution.

Item 13 followed item 11

13 2007.0509T (Tape IB) (Sullivan-Lenane: (415) 558-6257)

Amendments relating to Planning Code Sections 716.1, 716.41, and 716.42 of the Inner Clement Street Neighborhood Commercial District [Board File No. 07-0738]. Ordinance introduced by Supervisor McGoldrick amending Planning Code Sections 716.1, 716.41, and 716.42 of the Inner Clement Street Neighborhood Commercial District to provide for a limited number of new full-service restaurants and new wine and beer bar uses that satisfy specific requirements and obtain conditional use authorization, making environmental findings, and making findings of consistence with the General Plan and priority policies of Planning Code Section 101.1. Preliminary Recommendation: Approval.

SPEAKERS

Steve Vettel

- I have been working with the owners of Cute Restaurant on Clement Street.

- We worked with Supervisor McGoldrick to draft this legislation with the cooperation of the Clement Street Association.

- This is very modest. All of them would be a conditional use authorization and you would hear individual cases.

- This NCD is quite long - from Arguello to Funston Street. It is thirteen blocks on both sides of the street. So it is quite a large NCD.

ACTION: Approved as amended:

-Request that the Board of Supervisor consider a slight increase in the number [of uses from 3] in consideration of the length of the district.

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

RESOLUTION: 17467

Item 14 followed item 12

14. 2006.0965DD (Tape IIA) (G. CABREROS: (415) 558-6169)

1552 COLE STREET - at the dead end of Cole Street, south of Carmel Street; Lot 015 in Assessor's Block 2662 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2006.02.07.4038, proposing a new third floor, side and rear horizontal additions and facade alterations to the existing two-story, single-family residence in an RH-1(D) (Residential House, Single-Family, Detached) District and a 40-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Do Not take Discretionary Review and approve the project.

SPEAKERS

Calvin Welch, Discretionary Review Requestor

- This is an extraordinarily straight forward issue. Is this building a sound building? Is this proposed project a demolition?

- The answer to both of those questions that your staff says on its July 16 review of the DR request is yes.

- However, staff's assertion that this violates no General Plan policy is less that clear.

- It violates both the 2004 and 1990 policy. That is exactly the same language on policy 2.1 of objective 2 to discourage the demolition of sound existing housing.

- Your staff says that this is sound housing and that this is in effect a demolition.

- The point is if a $1.2 million house in my neighborhood can be demolished when it is sound, then what building is safe?

- 101.1 of the Planning Code clearly states that the neighborhood character should be respected and obviously this does not respect neighborhood character.

- It is a sound building being demolished in violation the 1990 and 2004 Housing Elements.

Sue Hestor

- It is really hard having a 5-person Commission. And I really think that this case should be continued until there is at least a 6th member.

- There are some really basic issues here. The Housing Element right now is 1990 and that has stronger anti-demolition policies.

- This is a sound house. And what you are saying with this one is that anything in Haight-Ashbury can be demolished like this. They are all $1.2 million dollars these days.

- Please continue this item.

John Miniskalko, Architect

- This house was purchased in April 2005 with the intention of adding on to accommodate the needs of a growing family.

- There is a shortage of family housing in San Francisco.

- With the desire to keep their family in San Francisco, they decided to buy the property with the potential to expand because it is the smallest house on the block and does not have an affect on adjacent neighbors.

- The design was submitted following a highly supportive community outreach meeting. The DR requestor was invited to attend but did not attend.

- The project was later deemed to be a defacto demolition because of the amount of change to the existing walls involved in the enlargement of the project.

- At the submission of a full historic resource evaluation that was reviewed by Planning, it was found not to be a resource or architecturally significant and a Categorical Exemption was then issued.

- Today's hearing is not on design or Planning Code compliance of the proposed project, but on the appraised value of the existing house.

- The first request for appraisal reported a value of $1.2 million. The second request for appraisal reported a value of $1.23 million.

- Both appraisals were sent to the San Francisco Real State Division who confirmed the validity of both appraisals.

- Based on the fact that this case presents no exceptional or extraordinary circumstances and has the full support of the Planning Department, we ask the Planning Commission to not take discretionary review and approved the project as submitted.

MOTION: To not take Discretionary Review and Approve.

AYES: Antonini and W. Lee.

NAYES: Olague, S. Lee and Moore.

EXCUSED: Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

Motion Failed

ACTION: Continued to September 6, 2007 with Public Hearing Closed.

AYES: Olague, S. Lee and Moore.

NAYES: Antonini and W. Lee

EXCUSED: Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

15. 2005.1059DV (Tape IIA) (B. FU: (415) 558-6613)

2986 - 22ND STREET - north side, between Folsom Street and Treat Avenue; Lot 018B in Assessor's Block 3613 - Request for Variance of Planning Code standards for rear yard in connection with a project proposing vertical and horizontal additions to an existing single-family dwelling in an RH-3 (Residential, Three-Family House) District with a 40-X Height and Bulk Designation.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of May 17, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Zoning Administrator Badiner closed the public hearing and granted the variance subject to the standard conditions of approval.

6:00 p.m.

16. (K. RICH (415-558-6345)

EASTERN NEIGHBORHOODS PROGRAM - The Eastern Neighborhoods Program encompasses the Mission, Central Waterfront, East SoMa and Showplace Square. Planning staff, along with staff from the Mayor's Office of Housing will present an information-only progress report on the following elements of the Eastern Neighborhoods Program: 1) Draft Socio-Economic Impact Analysis Report findings and implications for the planning process; 2) Development of a public benefits package to accompany the Eastern Neighborhoods rezoning, particularly including strategies and zoning proposals to address the need for affordable housing.

Preliminary Recommendation: No action requested (informational item)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without Hearing, continued to August 30, 2007.

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, Moore and Sugaya.

ABSENT: Alexander and W. Lee.

17. (S. DENNIS: (415) 558-6314)

CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTIONof a COMMISSION POLICY for the review of building permits and approvals in the Eastern Neighborhoods prior to the adoption of the Eastern Neighborhoods area plans and code amendments.

Preliminary Recommendation: Adopt policy resolution as proposed.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 7, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without Hearing, continued to August 30, 2007.

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, Moore and Sugaya.

ABSENT: Alexander and W. Lee.

18. 2005.0351E (V. WISE: (415) 575-9049)

700 VALENCIA STREET - Lot 001 of Assessor's Block 3588, bounded by Valencia, 19th, Lapidge and 18th Streets - Appeal of Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration. The proposed project would include demolition of an existing building and construction of a five-story, 50-foot-tall mixed-use building totaling approximately 22,662 square feet. The building would include nine dwelling units, nine parking spaces and one commercial unit. Vehicular access to the garage would be via 18th Street. Access to the commercial unit would be at the corner of Valencia and 18th Street and along Valencia Street. The project site in the Valencia Neighborhood Commercial zoning district and is within a 50-X height and bulk district. The project site is in the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan Area and is subject to the Housing/Mixed Use Guidelines.

Preliminary Recommendation: Uphold Preliminary Mitigated Negative Declaration.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 7, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without Hearing, continued to August 30, 2007.

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, Moore and Sugaya.

ABSENT: Alexander and W. Lee.

19. 2007.0297D (M. Snyder: (415) 575-6891)

700 Valencia Street - southwest corner of Valencia Street and 18th Street, Lot 001 in Assessor's Block 3588 - Request for Discretionary Review of Building Permit Application No. 2005.04.14.0087 proposing to construct a new 50-foot tall structure where a small car sales structure currently sits. The new structure would contain nine dwelling units, nine off-street parking spaces and approximately 1,700 square feet of ground floor retail. The property is within the Valencia Neighborhood Commercial District, and a 50-X Height and Bulk District.

Preliminary Recommendation: Take Discretionary Review and Approve the project as modified and with conditions.

(Continued from Regular Meeting of June 7, 2007)

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Without Hearing, continued to August 30, 2007.

AYES: Olague, Antonini, S. Lee, Moore and Sugaya.

ABSENT: Alexander and W. Lee.

I. PUBLIC COMMENT

At this time, members of the public may address the Commission on items of interest to the public that are within the subject matter jurisdiction of the Commission except agenda items. With respect to agenda items, your opportunity to address the Commission will be afforded when the item is reached in the meeting with one exception. When the agenda item has already been reviewed in a public hearing at which members of the public were allowed to testify and the Commission has closed the public hearing, your opportunity to address the Commission must be exercised during the Public Comment portion of the Calendar. Each member of the public may address the Commission for up to three minutes.

The Brown Act forbids a commission from taking action or discussing any item not appearing on the posted agenda, including those items raised at public comment. In response to public comment, the commission is limited to:

(1) responding to statements made or questions posed by members of the public; or

(2) requesting staff to report back on a matter at a subsequent meeting; or

  1. directing staff to place the item on a future agenda. (Government Code Section 54954.2(a))

SPEAKER: None

Adjournment: 6:12 p.m.

THESE MINUTES WERE PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION AT THE REGULAR MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION ON THURSDAY, August 9, 2007.

SPEAKERS: None

ACTION: Approved

AYES: Antonini, S. Lee, W. Lee, Moore, Olague, and Sugaya

ABSENT: Alexander

NOTE: Per Section 67.18 of the Administrative Code for the City and County of San Francisco, Commission minutes contain a description of the item before the Commission for discussion/consideration; a list of the public speakers with names if given, and a summary of their comments including an indication of whether they are in favor of or against the matter; and any action the Commission takes. The minutes are not the official record of a Commission hearing. The audiotape is the official record. Copies of the audiotape may be obtained by calling the Commission office at (415) 558-6415. For those with access to a computer and/or the Internet, Commission hearings are available at www.sfgov.org. Under the heading Explore, the category Government, and the City Resources section, click on SFGTV, then Video on Demand. You may select the hearing date you want and the item of your choice for a replay of the hearing.

Last updated: 11/17/2009 10:00:29 PM